We've all heard the overnight success stories that popped out of nowhere.

Why is it that some people struggle for years to get to a level of success, while a few individuals can climb straight to the top in mere months? This is what our guest, Shane Snow, is here to reveal today.

After researching, analyzing, and interviewing the unconventional success stories of people and companies, he noticed a common pattern amongst them. That's why Shane wrote the book, Smartcuts.

While 99.9% of us have been taught the conventional wisdom of success, such as paying our dues and making small progress, Shane argues that the 0.1% think differently. He calls it 'lateral thinking', which is to rethink conventional practices and break the rules (that were never rules in the first place).

In this interview, we go deep and wide in every aspect. We'll shatter the common wisdom about success, how you can think laterally to fast track your success, and explore the behind-the-scene stories of global icons like Michelle Phan, Skillrex, and Jimmy Fallon.

If you have the desire to, be, do, and achieve more in less time, or if you're seeking a different way of thinking, this episode with will inspire you.

Highlights of the Episode

Part 1: Breaking Unconventional Rules (Myth of 10,000-Hour Rule)

  • We start off the interview talking about how many top performers transitioned off from one ladder to another. Ronald Reagan was an actor before being President, Jimmy Fallon was doing improv before hosting a world famous TV show.
  • This analogy can also be applied to business, where companies that pivot from one business model or product to another tend to perform much better than those who always stayed on one course.
  • The biggest breakthroughs in arts, business, entertainment, politics, and more come from someone rejecting the traditional rules and applying their own.

Part 2: How to Apply Lateral Thinking to Accelerate Success

  • Shane shares that a practical way to apply lateral thinking is taking a concept from one industry and bringing it to another. Michelle Phan, for example, watched Bob Ross (famous painter) growing up and applied his teaching style into makeup tutorials. It really comes down to looking at things from a different perspective than others
  • Similar to how the best entrepreneurs use mini-failures to accelerate learning, we should apply this same concept to everything we do.
  • We also talk about the power of authentic relationships. Instead of trying to find 'formal' mentors, building informal and genuine relationships will take you much further.
  • Mentorship is no different than friendships. Some mentors you'll naturally click with, while others may not be the best fit for you. Both sides should gain some sort of value from spending time with one another.

Question of the Episode

What's a conventional wisdom of success that you've been taught by your family or media that was debunked later in your life?